book review, fantasy

Hourglass by Daniel James

Strong world building and likable characters make this entertaining fantasy adventure.

Clyde and Kev are best friends. The only thing is, Kev has been dead for months. After thwarting a mugging, the duo arrive on Hourglass’s radar, a shadowy military organization that keeps ghosts and other strange creatures in order.

Elsewhere, Russian monk, Konstantin Kozlov, is recruited to journey into death to harness souls as a new power source, but he has his own reasons for returning to the dead lands.

This book is a lot of fun. Comic book artist wannabe, Clyde, and his best friend, Kev, channeled the same sort of energy as Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s characters in Spaced, making them instantly relatable. Hourglass and its nemesis, the Cairnwood Society, gave off a Hellboy vibe, a delicious blend of dark magicks and gun toting action.

The realm of death as presented in this world is intriguing, and I would like to learn more about the nine houses that govern the souls who cross over. I was slightly puzzled how the living could venture into death, body and soul, and even more intrigued by the soul destroying weapons that some characters used. Banishing a ghost from the land of the living makes sense, but where does a soul go when it’s destroyed in death? Perhaps future books will answer these questions.

My favorite characters were Konstantin, who carries the ghosts of his friends in a hive like structure within his body, and Morris, who has keys for fingers.

If I have any criticism it is that the pacing is a little slow at the start and a little too fast at the end. The novel could have benefitted from some editing, especially around Clyde and his family, to help resolve this issue. The information is well written, but there is some redundancy with repetition that slows the pace.

I award Hourglass

Hourglass is available for $1.05 ebook and $10.99 print book on Amazon.

I received a free copy from Booksirens in exchange for an honest review.

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